Monday, March 30, 2009

Confederate Heritage in the New in Florida

A city’s roots are still planted in a bitter divide, though the fighting ended nearly 150 years ago.

SUNDAY, MAR. 29, 2009

Civil War history and its symbols have generated a lot of heat in Northeast Florida, even as we approach the 150th anniversary of the onset of the war. Here’s a look at a few of the stories that erupted over the last year, and their updates.

January: Sons of Confederate Veterans file a lawsuit over the creation of a specialty license plate to benefit Confederate heritage education. The group’s Florida division argues lawmakers unfairly refused to act on a bill last year to create the plate. The suit, and the fate of the plate, are still pending, possibly holding up a plate to support the St. Johns River.

November: After two years of debate, the Duval County School Board votes to keep the name of Nathan B. Forrest High School. The vote was split along racial lines.

May: Bobby Tillett of Jacksonville attracts attention after a conflict with his employer, BJ’s Wholesale Club. The store told him to take down a large Confederate flag flying from his truck or move it out of the employee parking lot. He has since sued but the case was dismissed in federal court and moved to civil court in Jacksonville. It has not been resolved.

April: Councilwoman Glorious Johnson, who is African-American, sets off a firestorm after joining the Sons of Confederate Veterans in a salute to the Confederate flag and leading them in “Dixie” at their annual Confederate Memorial Day celebration. She also is planning to attend the event this year, on April 26.

It’s the controversy that will never fade away.

Nearly 150 years after the Civil War began, Confederate history and its symbols have touched off one political firestorm after another — and that’s just here in Duval County. In the past year.

History has lots of muddy, gray areas. But debates over it have never seemed more sharply divided than they are today.

The rhetoric that flew over the name of Nathan B. Forrest High School was intense and sometimes bitter on both sides. When debate erupted over an African-American city councilwoman’s embrace of Confederate Memorial Day and about a man kept from an employee parking lot because of a Confederate flag on his truck, the discourse was at times vitriolic.

Even something as simple as a proposed license plate to acknowledge Confederate heritage led in January to a lawsuit that is making some legislators cower. But a “Choose Life” plate that touches the third rail of politics, abortion, is now commonplace.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Maryland state song may lose the ‘Northern scum’

Maryland state song may lose the ‘Northern scum’
By Leah Fabel
Examiner Staff Writer 2/22/09

Descendants of “Northern scum” may find more reason to feel welcome in Maryland if a bill to change the state song passes in the state legislature. The term is found in the last stanza of “Maryland, My Maryland,” as “Huzza! [Maryland] spurns the Northern scum!” It was penned by James Ryder Randall in April 1861, following the bloody Baltimore Riot between Union and Confederate sympathizers in the first days of the Civil War.

A class of fourth-graders at Anne Arundel County’s Glen Burnie Park Elementary found the overall tone sufficiently impolite for 2009 that they complained to their state representatives.

“The song talks about [Abraham] Lincoln as a tyrant, and the ‘Northern scum,’ ” said school librarian Linda Tuck, who oversaw the students’ mission, that began as a research project. “They thought those were insulting terms, and wanted something that better reflects Maryland.”

State Del. Pamela Beidle, D-Anne Arundel, listened to her young constituents. She introduced a bill to change the song from a Confederate ode to a more sentimental set of lyrics written by John T. White in 1894, praising the state’s “streams and wooded hills” and “mountains with their gushing rills.” Like the original, it would be set to the tune of “O Christmas Tree.”

Some Marylanders, however, worry the effort could cloak a chapter of the state’s divided history. Donald Beck, Maryland division commander for the Tennessee-based Sons of Confederate Veterans, remembers as a 6-year-old seeing his great-grandfather’s scars earned on behalf of the South during the Civil War.
“Lincoln hardly got any votes in Maryland in 1860, so the song reflected the sentiments of Marylanders at the time,” Beck said, adding he has testified before the legislature opposing similar efforts made in the past. “If you changed everything based on current attitudes, you’d have to rewrite all of the history books.”

Del. Jolene Ivey, D-Prince George’s, a co-sponsor of the bill, said she “understand[s] the role that the Confederacy played in the history of Maryland, [but] it’s time to no longer glorify that in our state song.”

Tuck said her students agreed. “They feel ownership of Maryland,” she said. “They wanted a song they could sing.”

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chicago Press Article on Confederate History Month

Southerners looking to share their Confederate Holiday

'Confederacy has gotten a bad rap,' says one supporter of efforts to recognize region's legacy

By Dahleen Glanton
Tribune Correspondent
1:37 AM CDT, March 22, 2009

ATLANTA — In a cultural war that has pitted Old South against new, defenders of the Confederate legacy have opened a fresh front in their campaign to polish an image tarnished, they said, by people who do not respect Southern values.

With the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States in 2011, efforts are under way in statehouses, small towns and counties across the South to push for proclamations or legislation promoting Confederate history.

Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Florida traditionally observe Confederate History Month in April. Georgia, which has recognized it by proclamation since 1995, recently passed a bill in the state Senate making it official.

Most Southern states recognize Confederate Memorial Day as a legal holiday. Some celebrate it on the June birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, but Texas and Arkansas observe it on Jan. 19, the federal holiday for slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Race in America More than 1,000 municipalities celebrate the holiday with parades and festivals, said Charles McMichael, commander in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and efforts are under way to spread it nationwide, state by state.

"It has been our experience over the last 30 years or so that when the Confederacy is addressed at all historically, it is done in a way that serves a political agenda and not in a way that we think is accurate. We want the truthful history about all aspects of the Confederacy told," said McMichael. "There are some good things that you can learn, and we think there are more good than bad.",0,7235836.story?track=rss

Canada Press Recognizes Confederate History Month

April is also Confederate History Month

By Calvin E. Johnson Jr.
Saturday, March 21, 2009

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”—Marcus Garvey

On Thursday, March 12, 2009, the Georgia State Senate passed bill No. 27, by a vote of 48-2, designating April as Confederate Heritage and History Month. I understand that it has now been voted out of committee for a full House vote. Supporters of this bill say

“The measure would be a boom to the state’s tourism industry, encouraging visitors to come to Georgia’s Civil War Battlefield sites.”

The diversity of the Old South still holds the imagination of many people who come from around the world to see; Southern Belle’s with hoop skirts, Confederate flags and soldier memorials like the Confederate Memorial carving of: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis at Stone Mountain Memorial Park near Atlanta.

This story is written in the spirit of the Sesquicentennial, 150th Anniversary of the War Between the States, which will be commemorated throughout the USA from 2011 to 2015.

Americans observe Black, Jewish, Hispanic, Native American and Women’s History Month…..And in April we also remember ‘Confederate History Month’ in tribute to those Americans who took their stand for what some historians call the ‘Second American Revolution.’

Friday, March 20, 2009

ANV Scholarship Competition

The link below provides the information needed to enter the Sons of Confederate Veterans Army of Northern Virginaia Sesquicentennial Scholarship Competition.

To enter one must be a high school( public, private, or home school ) student to enter. See the link for more details, topic and deadlines etc..

Good Luck!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Endangered Battlefields

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Development threatens to engulf Civil War battlefields, a preservationist group said as it released its annual list of endangered battle sites on Wednesday.

"In town after town, the irreplaceable battlefields that define those communities are being marred forever," said James Lighthizer, the head of the Civil War Preservation Trust.
"As we approach the sesquicentennial of the bloodiest conflict in our nation's history, we need to be more aware than ever of the importance of preserving these sacred places for generations to come."

The group says it has helped save more than 25,000 acres of Civil War battlefields in 18 states.
Topping the 2009 list of endangered battlefields is Monocacy, Maryland, where the Preservation Trust wants to prevent a trash-processing facility with a 350-foot smokestack from being built nearby.

In Virginia, the group is fighting to keep a Wal-Mart Supercenter from going up on the edge of the Wilderness Battlefield, which also is on this year's list. On that site, 160,000 Union and Confederate troops fought a two-day battle in 1864.

Civil War Preservation Trust: Saving Battlefields

"These hallowed battlegrounds should be national shrines, monuments to American valor, determination and courage," actor Richard Dreyfuss said in prepared remarks. "Once these irreplaceable treasures are gone, they're gone forever." Dreyfuss has been involved in a pair of Civil War documentaries.

Rounding out the group's Top 10 list of endangered battlefields are:

Port Gibson, Mississippi
Cedar Creek, Virginia
Fort Gaines, Alabama
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
New Market Heights, Virginia
Sabine Pass, Texas
South Mountain, Maryland
Spring Hill, Tennessee

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Mystery of Lincoln's Watch

The Mystery of Lincoln's Watch

Many of you may have heard or read about the discovery of an inscription in Abraham Lincoln's gold pocket watch. The story emanated in the New York Times on March 11th. The version carried by the mass media daily newspapers and broadcasts left out a mysterious element of the story.

For years there has been a story circulating that a watchmaker in 1861 while working on Lincoln's watch made an inscription in the tiny working parts inside the watch.

As part of he Lincoln 200th Birthday Observance, the American Museum of History division of The Smithsonian Institute in Washington determined to hold a public opening of the watch and ascertain if the stories about the inscription were true.

The ceremony was attended by descendants of the Lincoln family, along with those of the watchmaker, public and museum officials and journalists.

The watch was carefully and meticulously opened and lo and behold, it did contain an inscription dated 1861. The inscription varied somewhat from the stories that had been circulating, but did refer to the firing on Fort Sumter. (misspelled as Sumpter)

There is more to the story than was generally released. Here it is.

There were two other inscriptions found inside the watch. One, dated 1864 with the initials of another watchmaker and the other, the words "Jeff Davis". Jefferson Davis was president of the Confederate States of America and the adversary of Abraham Lincoln.

The mystery surrounding the revelation of the Jeff Davis inscription is bound to bring on more discussion and speculation, some of which will most likely be added to the Lincoln myths which abound America.

How ironic it is the only name engraved in Lincoln's watch is that of Jeff Davis.
Just as ironic is another little known and seldom mentioned fact regarding the discovery made at the Smithsonian Institute. The Smithsonian was initially started under the sponsorship of Jefferson Davis who raised private funds for its beginning while Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce.

The motto of the Confederacy, Deo Vindice, seems appropiate to conclude this story.

Contact Information:
Sons of Confederate Veterans Public Relations and Media Committee,
J. A. Davis, Chairman.
770 297-4788

Friday, March 13, 2009

Georgia Senate Passes Confederate Heritage and History Month Bill

The Georgia Senate has passed a bill designating April as Confederate Heritage and History Month.

Text of Bill below:


To amend Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to holidays and observances, so as to create Confederate Heritage and History Month; to provide for legislative findings; to encourage observances and celebrations of Confederate Heritage and History Month; to provide for statutory construction; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.


SECTION 1. Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to holidays and observances, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:

(a) The General Assembly hereby finds and determines that tourism is a great economic resource in Georgia; and historical, heritage, and cultural inheritance are among the tourism industry's most popular attractions. Georgia's Confederate heritage, physical artifacts and battle sites, and historic events and persons not only attract visitors, they are potentially of even greater importance and benefit to our state's economy. Increased development of our state's Confederate history and heritage as part of the tourism industry will be enhanced through recognizing, celebrating, and advertising that heritage and history.

(b) The month of April of each year is hereby designated as Confederate History and Heritage Month and shall be set aside to honor, observe, and celebrate the Confederate States of America, its history, those who served in its armed forces and government, and all those millions of its citizens of various races and ethnic groups and religions who contributed in sundry and myriad ways to the cause which they held so dear from its founding on February 4, 1861, in Montgomery, Alabama, until the Confederate ship CSS Shenandoah sailed into Liverpool Harbor and surrendered to British authorities on November 6, 1865.

(c) Officials and departments of state, county, and municipal governments, boards of education, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, businesses, and all citizens are encouraged to participate in programs, displays, and activities that commemorate and honor our shared history and cultural inheritance throughout each April during Confederate History and Heritage Month."

SECTION 2. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

News coverage concerning the bill:

The bill now goes to the Georgia House of Representatives for consideration.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Davis Statue to Be Restored

Miss. to restore Jeff Davis monument
The Associated Press
March 10, 2009

What began as legislation to place a bronze statue of Jefferson Davis on the grounds of the Mississippi Capitol is now a law to restore another monument dedicated to the president of the Confederacy.

Gov. Haley Barbour signed a bill Monday that directs state officials to restore the Confederate Monument near the Old Capitol museum, several blocks from the current statehouse in downtown Jackson. The legislation takes effect July 1.

The monument features a life-sized statue of Davis, who spent his last years living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The bill began as an effort to authorize the state to accept a different statue of Davis from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The group's statue depicts Jefferson holding the hands of two little boys. One was his son, Joe Davis. The other was an African-American boy named Jim Limber, who was adopted by the Davis family.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Call for Amendments to be Considered at Hot Springs

Any Compatriot wishing to submit an Amendment to the Constitution of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or to the Standing Orders of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, to be considered at the Reunion to be held in Hot Springs, Arkansas, July 23-25, should send the proposed Amendment to JAG in Chief Simon B. Buckner IV and Executive Director Ben Sewell at General Headquarters.

JAG in Chief Buckner's mailing address is 11617 Hemlock St. Overland Park, KS 66210 and General Headquarters can be reached at P.O. Box 59 Columbia, TN 38402.

Proposed amendments to the Constitution or Standing Orders must be postmarked / date stamped no later than May 15, 2009. Proposed amendments may be emailed instead of being sent by US. Mail.

JAG Buckner can be reached at and Execuitive Director Sewell at

A brief statement as to the rational for the amendment may also be submitted with the proposed change to the Constitution or Standing Orders.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hot Springs Reunion Phone Number Corrected


Some of you may have already tried calling the number listed in the Confederate Veteran ad for the Reunion in Hot Springs. That number is wrong as is the one on the web page. The web page will be corrected soon.

The Hot Springs Reunion number is now (501) 701-3133 Please spread this around.

Chuck McMichaelCiC

Confederate Funeral Held in Jacksonville Florida

Wang Dang Doodle Funeral

Submitted by Tracy Collins
Mon, 03/02/2009

In their 33 years of marriage, Johnny and Rene Williams rarely followed tradition. So it was no surprise to family and friends that in lieu of a dressed-in-black somber burial, a party was planned.

Many of you faithful blog readers will be familiar with Johnny Ray Williams. Rene (pronounced REEN) is a featured blogger on and wrote "Johnny's Journey to Victory," sharing thoughts, scriptures, messages of hope and faith. Johnny lost his well-fought battle with stage 4 terminal lung cancer on Feb. 21. In life, the family refused to give up all the way to the end. In death, they still rejoiced in knowing this was not really the end, as Johnny was a lifelong servant of the Lord.

So at noon on Saturday, the "Wang Dang Doodle" funeral started at Ponte Vedra Valley Cemetery and Funeral Home complete with low country boil, a bluegrass band and high performance cars lining the driveway. If you didn't know Johnny at all - and I didn't - you couldn't say that by the time you left the Beaches.